London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 16 December 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing » London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 16 December 2019

Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997
Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997. Photo by Eric Chretien/Gamma-Rapho published under license from Getty Images. Unauthorised distribution and reproduction prohibited.

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 16 December 2019. This is our last edition for 2019. The Monday Briefing will return on Monday 13 January 2020.

This big Christmas getaway starts this weekend. It’s somewhat customary for there to be some form of transport snarl-up in the UK in the run up to the Christmas, whether it be snow, fog, or rogue drones. At the risk of speaking too sign, weather conditions in London are looking relatively benign for this year.

Whilst the political climate in the UK remains febrile, there is at least some certainty to for the year ahead. The UK is now certain to leave the European Union in 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a radical transformational domestic policy agenda. Of course, so did Theresa May on becoming Prime Minister, before being all consumed by the Brexit process. As much as all sides of the debate would like it to be otherwise, the UK’s departure from the European Union is nowhere near complete.

Whilst Boris Johnson has been an advocate and dreamer of many grand projets, he is no advocate of a third runway at London Heathrow and has expressed doubts about HS2. There was deep frustration during Theresa May’s regime that business was simply not being listened to and many will be lobbying for investment in transport infrastructure. Boris Johnson is well skilled in the art of telling his audience what they want to hear, but whether he can implement anything is another matter.

BA Summer 2020 Schedule

Last week, we had the first significant official announcement of BA’s summer 2020 schedule, with six new seasonal routes at London Heathrow.

Further short-haul route announcements are expected. There’s been little by way of news as far as long-haul routes are concerned. Though with delivery of new Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft next year, as well as the refurbishment of Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 aircraft, there will be at least a significant reallocation of aircraft on routes next year.

In case you missed it:

Qantas is one step closer to launching non-stop flights from London to Sydney having selected the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, albeit without a firm order yet. The only significant barrier are negotiations with the Australian and International Pilots Association.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has form on playing hardball with trade unions. There are tensions at JetStar with industrial action taking place this week. This has been called by the Australian Federation of Airline Pilots and Transport Workers Union. 

Also of note this week:

How “dark patterns” influence travel bookings. (BBC)

How to see the Northern Lights from your aircraft seat. (KLM)

Qantas issues a statement on flight QF575 which returned to the gate at Sydney following a hydraulic fluid leak. (Qantas)

A day in the life of Virgin Atlantic Flight Service Manager Scott Coley. (Virgin Atlantic)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

The Monday Briefing will return at 06:00 GMT on Monday 13 January 2020. Until then you can follow us on Twitter for breaking news. Also, please join us on Wednesday for our weekly Atlantic Update.

We welcome any thoughts and comments below:

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